Before we get into the minimum hours required for online English teachers, we first need to go over the differences between contracted and freelance online English teachers:
Contracted Online English Teachers
Some online English teaching companies will require you to work a set number of minimum hours per week. Naturally, these hours could increase depending on the company’s policies and procedures or your availability. Other online companies may have no minimum teaching hours per week. Therefore, teaching requirements and schedules differ according to the company you have decided to sign with. Be sure to enquire about their minimum and maximum teaching hours during your interview or before you sign a contract!
Some online companies ask that you make yourself available at the same times from week-to-week in the hope that students will consistently book you if they gel well with you. Therefore, it is important to make an outstanding impression during first lessons so that students want to keep coming back to you each week.
Other online companies may provide you with a fixed schedule with set students. This means that you have guaranteed bookings and will see the same students time after time. The pros of this type of contract are that you will see your students progress over a span of time and be a key part of their English language journey. Also, your income will remain the same, and you won’t have to fear too much about negative judgment if your first lessons contain little errors (like nervousness!).
Freelance Online English Teachers
Should you find yourself working for a freelance platform, you are completely in control of devising your own schedule - positioning you to work as many or as few hours as you’d like! Realise, however, as your own boss, you will have to become accustomed to having an unstable income and will have to devote more hours to your marketing, lesson planning, admin, etc.
For more information about what hours you will need to be available to teach English online, read this blog post which delves into TEFL essentials like peak times and time zones and how they affect your online teaching schedule.
If you’re interested in learning more about our courses and how you can begin earning as an online English teacher, check out our website.